Victory for Orwell Crossing truck stop
STAFF at a roadside restaurant were celebrating victory today after a two-year battle to allow motorists to legally stop and have a meal.The Orwell Crossing stop-over on the A14 at Nacton was deemed too dangerous for car drivers to use - and the authorities only wanted truckers to use it, despite its popularity with other motorists.
STAFF at a roadside restaurant were celebrating victory today after a two-year battle to allow motorists to legally stop and have a meal.
The Orwell Crossing stop-over on the A14 at Nacton was deemed too dangerous for car drivers to use - and the authorities only wanted truckers to use it, despite its popularity with other motorists.
It left a question mark over the future of the facility, but today a government planning inspector has agreed it can now serve anybody.
His decision follows a public inquiry after truckstop owner Karl Rout appealed against Suffolk Coastal council's decision not to allow car drivers to be served in the restaurant.
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Mr Rout said: “We are delighted - it is a victory for common sense.
“The decision gives us everything we wanted in the first place - it has just taken two years and cost us a heck of a lot of money.
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“I am very pleased for the staff because it gives them a peace of mind about their jobs and they have been very worried.
“Although this is an important stopping place for lorry drivers, we could not survive with them alone and we needed other motorists to make it viable.”
Mr Rout said there were two conditions connected with the permission - 45 car parking spaces will have to be provided and an area set aside for coaches and only people parking on the site can be served, and there are some restrictions on advertising the site's facilities as it must primarily remain a lorry park and motorists' rest area.
“I think the council think we want to open a nightclub here or something! That's never been our intention,” he said.
“What they cannot seem to understand is that the A14 is our local road and not just a strategic route - 60 per cent of people using it are from this area and using it as an Ipswich bypass. Those people are passing and some want to use our facilities.”